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The War Room With Jennifer Granholm

News/Business. (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)

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01:00:00

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480

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Us 10, Harry Reid 7, Washington 7, Jill Kelley 7, Fbi 5, Afghanistan 5, Pentagon 4, Kelley 4, Jennifer 4, Jennifer Granholm 3, Donnie 3, Judy Smith 3, You Bet 3, Broadwell 3, Panetta 3, Lindsey Graham 3, U.s. 3, South Carolina 3, Petraeus 3, David Petraeus 2,
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  Current    The War Room With Jennifer Granholm    News/Business.   
   (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    November 13, 2012
    7:00 - 8:00pm PST  

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>> jennifer: i'm jennifer granholm. tonight in "the war room," fiscal cliffs, scandalous falls from grace a teachable moment on the avoidance of each. tonight on capitol affair, the other woman the other general thousands of e-mails some flirtatious. hearings will be called. careers will be ruined. cliches will be used. >> this has the elements in some way of a hollywood movie. >> innocent though uncomfortable photo ops will come under scrutiny. it is a story about soldiers and the women they loved all in a special place called tampa.
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>> jennifer: up first tonight, the latest on the scandal that's rocking washington. the intelligence community and the upper echelons of our military. as you know, former four star general and c.i.a. chief david petraeus, here he is, quit last week after admitting that he had an affair with his biographer, paula broadwell. now, paula broadwell allegedly sent threatening e-mails to jill kelley who is a "tampa socialite" who did charitable work for the military. broadwell apparently thought that kelley was also having an affair with petraeus. and upon receiving broadwell's e-mails, kelley contacted the fbi which began investigating. now, jill kelley also has hired crisis communications expert judy smith. she has worked with monica lewinsky with kobe bryant and with former senator larry craig. and that all has a lot of folks
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scratching their heads. why would a woman who was the target of a nasty e-mail or two need a reputation fixer? well, it turns out that while investigating petraeus, the fbi uncovered 20,000 to 30,000 potentially inappropriate pages of documents mostly e-mails that kelley exchanged with general john allen. and who is general john allen? he is the top u.s. commander in afghanistan and he is the man who's nominated to be the supreme leader of nato. as you can imagine that, nomination was put on hold in light of all of these allegations. for the record, general allen denies any inappropriate relationship with kelley and these e-mails are described as flirtatious. so reaction to this unfolding and unbelievable drama is coming in from all sides a senior official close to general allen
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said of jill kelley, she is a nice bored rich socialite. senator dianne feinstein who heads the select intelligence committee that will investigate this whole petraeus affair finds the whole situation very tawdry. >> it's been like peeling an onion. every day another peel comes off. and you see a whole new dimension to this. >> jennifer: of course, conservative republicans like former u.n. ambassador john bolton are frothing at the mustache to politicize the scandal. oh goodness sakes. >> i think we need to look at eric holder in the late summer and ask what did he do with the information that he had about the potential compromise of the security of the c.i.a. director. >> jennifer: okay. so let's get beyond the tabloid headlines to some of the real issues at stake for the u.s. military and its mission in afghanistan. for that side of the story we're going to washington, d.c. and phillip ewing phillip has
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been defense editor at politico. welcome inside "the war room." >> thanks for having me. >> jennifer: you bet. what is the latest revelation about general allen who is in charge of troops in afghanistan what does it mean for the war effort there? >> well, it means very little for the day-to-day reality of soldiers fighting in afghanistan. now they're going to carry out the president's planned withdrawal over the next two years and eventually the goal is to hand responsibility for the war to the afghan national security forces in 2014. but in the meantime, even as all of these tawdry headlines are playing out here in washington, allen has kept his current job as the man in charge of the war and we heard from secretary panetta off the pentagon and also jay carney, the white house spokesman today. he's kept the confidence of the president and secretary panetta. so he will keep his job. the war will go on as it has for the past 11 years. >> jennifer: okay. since the president and secretary panetta issued a
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supportive statement does that indicate his denial checks out? general allen has denied, of course, having an inappropriate relationship with jill kelley. >> what a lot of people here in town think it means is that if he broke some form of protocol or some military guideline, it wasn't enough to trigger a criminal investigation by the fbi or by other federal officials and so that's the reason the justice department and the fbi handed this matter over to the pentagon's suspected general for it to look into it. that still could have serious repercussions for general allen. by keeping him on, by not suspending him as they have other general officers accused of crimes, it indicates they're hoping he can survive this and keep going with his career. >> jennifer: 20,000 to 30,000 e-mail pages, that has got to be an exaggeration or something. how do you explain that? because somebody would have to spend their entire life
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e-mailing away or at least the past year to be able to get that kind of volume. >> well, what the pentagon official said today was that that could include all of the messages they were ever involved with. if you see a lot of people on an e-mail chain and they were included, that would be covered by these documents. the other thing that some senior aides and friends of allen said in the pentagon and washington today was that initial impression may have been something of an exaggeration but it is a great detail. this is a story with a lot of great details that people are latching on to. >> jennifer: let's jump in over to petraeus. if allen is denying he did anything inappropriate, the charges against petraeus who has admitted that he did something inappropriate, how serious are the charges against him since he's no longer in uniform? >> they're less serious but there is one potential wrinkle for petraeus as c.i.a. director. if the administrative investigations this week conclude that he leaked
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classified information to someone else who was not authorized to receive it, that could put his high-level security clearance in peril. if he were to ever try to get a job in the defense industry or as a consultant here in washington, he would be limited in the kind of work he could do but as someone who is out of uniform as a retired civilian, he's not subject to the same military justice that general allen is. under the uniform code of military justice adultery is a prosecutable defense. and so allen is in a position where if, in fact, an investigation leads to that direction, he could be in very serious trouble himself if that's proved. we're not there yet. he's denied there was any extramarital contact with one of the women here but that's kind of the stakes of the game. >> jennifer: so what has been the reaction from -- i know you cover this stuff inside the pentagon. what's been the reaction from the military brass now that -- you know, two of their own generals have been implicated in a scandal? >> well, the first reaction by
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almost everyone was pure shock. these are two of the most respected military commanders of their generations. both heroes of the wars in iraq and afghanistan. and for allegations like these to come to light and for petraeus to actually preemptively step down over them blew a lot of people in town away. and after that initial shock wore off we've seen people in the pentagon, people who are senior aides of allen, come to his defense today and say whatever happened, his performance in the war has been good. he's an honorable man. and try from that perspective to make the best of it. the question is where is this all going to lead? what are we going to learn about these allegations and these two men in the coming weeks here. >> jennifer: so what does your gut tell you on that? >> that there's more to follow here. the main factor going forward is going to be the reality that congress feels miffed for lack of a better term that it was leaked to the game -- late to the game in learning about this. worst thing you can do in washington is make congress feel
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left out not in the loop. lawmakers are going to go after this with a vengeance. they will leave no stone unturned. if there are another shoes to drop, more revelations that, come out as part of congress' investigation into not only petraeus and allen in the extramarital affairs potentially or extramarital implications but this parallel story about the benghazi attack on september 11th which had been boiling in the minds of republicans for a long time. something they saw as an attempt by obama to stonewall here. >> >> jennifer: interesting the most difficult of this may be the affront to congress rather than affront to one's own wedding vows. phillip ewing of politico. thank you so much for coming inside "the war room." thanks for your insight. the petraeus scandal has also got the potential of ruining reputations of everybody involved and for that side of the story, we're going to sacramento and to crisis communications expert roger salazar. roger is the managing director of mercury a public strategy
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firm. he was a spokesman for president clinton. roger, welcome inside "the war room." >> thanks for having me, jennifer. >> jennifer: you bet. i know you're here on skype. you're a crisis communications expert. you've dealt with a lot of scandals. just as a general matter, how serious is this one? >> i think it is about as serious as you can get. any time you're dealing with the c.i.a., military activities and terrorism, you know, it is high stakes enough as it is. you throw, you know, jealous lover and sex into the mix and obsessed fbi agent has all of the makings of a tv show. basically, the best laid plans here of mice and men get laid to waste by some of these actions. so i think -- the stakes are pretty high. you know. exactly how serious it is for them individually remains to be seen. you know there's no question i think that petraeus will have a tough time in his chosen career, he may have a bit of a second
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career down the road but in this case, because of the trust and the responsibility and the integrity that comes with the office of general or c.i.a. chief, this is a tough one to bounce back from. >> jennifer: so jill kelley is being portrayed as a sort of a drifter, someone who's living well beyond her means and racking up millions of dollars in debt or at least the family is, lots of lawsuits. it is not the kind of person though that high-ranking military officials should be hanging around with or at least it doesn't seem. do you think that general allen and david petraeus' reputations are salvageable? should they hire a crisis communications expert? >> they may want to. reputations are fragile thing. as a lot of folks can tell you especially those who have been in the spotlight. the next few weeks will sort of -- how they handle themselves will tell the tale. i've counseled my clients on issues like this.
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never underestimate the capacity of the public to forgive but you have to ask for it. you have to be contrite and open and you know, this -- this is a situation with jill kelley, with broadwell and general allen, so many moving parts you've got to get all of the pieces right so you can get your story out there. and tell it in a way that you know, will make the public forgive you. >> jennifer: so does the fact then that jill kelley actually hired a reputation fixer judy smith, does that fact tell you that she's potentially in a lot of trouble and there is -- there are some other shoes that might drop? >> well, it tells me she's clearly concerned. over the last couple of days, i know they've been feeling a lot of heat. it is evidenced not only from what you've been reading in the papers but if you listen to the 911 calls she's been making from her house people have been banging on her door, walk around her backyard. so there's clearly the sense
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that you know, at least from her perspective that you know, she's got something she needs to worry about here. it may not be that she was involved in any sort of affair but the level of activities are out there and all of the different pieces that are moving around in this scandal you know can paint any kind of picture unless you're there to direct it. >> jennifer: what advice would you give her? >> you're going to have a tough time coming back from it. it takes an awful long time, even, you know, look, i did work for vice president gore. i remember when the republicans kept pushing on the line about him inventing the internet. it wasn't anything he actually said but if enough people keep saying something you know, it becomes truth in the public's eye. in this case, you can see that the kelleys are worried about their reputations and have pulled out the stops in hiring
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the biggest guns. >> jennifer: in terms of advice you would give her somebody like that, does she get out and stand in front and try to steer the story? does she use judy smith to do that for her? what advice would you give her if she was your client, real briefly? >> i would have to take a look at her -- see what kind of presence she has in the public. some of my clients i put out there, i would say let us do the talking for you. because you may not be the best person to be out there telling your own story. or they get so emotionally involved in it, they can't -- get the story out in a way that they want to. i think she's done a good job of hiring some good people to tell her story for her. but she's going to have a tough time. general petraeus is going to have a tough time getting his reputation back with the public but if i were him, i would be more concerned about mrs. petraeus who is described as beyond furious than i would with the public right now. >> jennifer: totally agree with you. better make good at home.
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that's what i say. roger salazar, thank you so much for joining us inside "the war room." coming up, a tip of the hat to those who got him there. the president meets with big labor and progressive groups ahead of the fiscal cliff showdown. executive director of moveon.org was inside the room and he's going to join us next. >> later, there are americans who go to bed hungry every night. think about that statement. because it should sound ridiculous. the fact that it's not is our focus as we begin our four-part series on hunger. please stay with us for that. i think the mob learned from wall st., not vice versa.
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smiles make more smiles. when the chocolate is hershey's. life is delicious.
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>> jennifer: labor leaders and progressive organizers got a personal audience with the president today. now many of them worked hard to get the president re-elect and they're now hoping to shape his second term agenda. afl-cio, afscme, the sciu and the national education association were all there as were the heads of progressive groups including the center for american progress and moveon.org. they seemed pleased with the results. here's afl-cio president richard tromka after the meeting. >> we want to make sure we don't end up paying the tab for a party we didn't get to go to.
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the president is committed to that as well. >> jennifer: jay carney and harry reid both echoed his comments calling for raising taxes on the wealthiest to spare the middle class. that, of course, is the same position that helped get the president re-elected but senate minority leader mitch mcconnell surprised no one by disputing the idea that any mandate exists on this issue saying "if the president truly realizes that he was elected to represent all of its citizens, not just the ones who voted to give him a second term last tuesday, then he will seek the common ground he avoided so strenuously in his first term." paul ryan went even further on a local wisconsin television station last night. he said that the american people had not rejected his budget ideas and that, in fact, it was just a certain group of voters that cost him the election. >> i don't think we lost it on the budget issues. i think people, especially on medicare, we clearly didn't lose
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it on those issues. i think the surprise was some of the turnout. some of the turnout especially in urban areas which definitely gave president obama the big margin. >> jennifer: darn, they must not have suppressed enough votes. fine republicans you keep believing it was urban turnout and not your bad ideas and we'll keep winning elections. joining me is one of the progressive leaders who was at the meeting with the president today. executive director of moveon.org justin ruben comes to us from washington d.c. welcome inside "the war room," justin. >> thank you. >> jennifer: all right. so what did you and the other leaders ask for today and how did the president respond? >> well, you know, the first thing we said is we absolutely need the bush tax cuts for the rich to expire. they can't be extended. we just cannot afford that as a country. and the second thing that we make clear, i will say the degree of unanimity and unity
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among progressives is really striking on this. we said look, this can't be done on the backs of the middle class and the poor. we can't have cuts to benefits -- benefits for medicare medicaid or social security. as part of this deal. third, that we need to have jobs -- the economy is still in a rough place and we need to have the kinds of investments that can create jobs soon. to get the economy moving again and you know, finally that some of the cuts in the sequester that would fall most heavily on the most vulnerable among us that we need to head those off. >> jennifer: it seemed like everybody come out with unanimity. i wish you would describe the demeanor of the president. is he fired up and ready to fight? >> you know, i think he really -- it seems like -- in public, i think he did seem
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fired up and ready to go. and i think -- it seems like they really understand that this is a very different context from the fights of last year or 2010. >> jennifer: you listed four things that the group asked the president. if you had to say which one is the top one that moveon.org is pushing for, what would it be? >> i think these things are hard to separate because the whole point is we need to ask the rich to pay their fair share because that's the only way we can afford to have the investments the country needs and to not ask -- you know, people who are trying to live month to month on social security to pay more. to -- that they're trying to live off. so it is really hard to -- that's one of the things i tried to say in that meeting is you know i got an e-mail the other day from a moveon member in springfield, massachusetts, who said the tax cuts for the rich have to expire.
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i'm working for 34 years and i can't afford my car and basic repairs on my house. the reason this is important, it is not just a matter of abstract fairness. it is going to come out of their pockets and their communities. if we don't finally get the wealthiest -- >> jennifer: somebody's going to have to pay. we can't let the middle class be the ones to pick it up. justin, thank you so much. appreciate the fact that you were inside the room and you can bring us a little bit of perspective without violating your agreement. justin ruben, executive director of moveon.org. thanks for joining us. up next, a word that sends shivers down the spines of democratic lawmakers. filibuster. after the break we'll find out the best way to rid the world of this political menace once and for all.
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jennifer speaks truth to power. >>the bottom line is we need an amendment. >>now it's your turn. connect with "the war room" jennifer granholm. >>it's a call to arms. make your voice heard.
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of. >> jennifer: the president won both the electoral and the popular votes by wider margins than presidents kennedy nixon carter or george w. bush ever did. so does that give him a mandate? well, for that, let's take a quick trip down memory lane to 2004. >> president bush ran forthright on a clear agenda for this nation's future and the nation responded by giving him a mandate. >> jennifer: a mandate you say? president obama's 126 electoral vote margin is way more than bush and cheney's 34-vote spread in 2004 but the republicans still say he doesn't have a mandate. unbelievable. 3.3 million votes so far on the
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popular vote side. he doesn't have a mandate? not only that, democrats have an even bigger majority in the senate than last term. they should be able to push the president's agenda through right? well, not exactly. enter the filibuster. that's the rule that allows the senate minority to kill a bill by basically stalling unless 60 senators vote to end the debate. last session republicans used it more than ever. in fact, use of the filibuster doubled over the last two decades and the biggest increase was just in the last four years. in particular, since 2008. what does that tell you? senate majority leader harry reid is pushing for filibuster reform but he still doesn't have the votes to do it. so what else can he do? well, maybe he can find some republicans who are willing to work with democrats. today, talking points memo published a list of the most likely senators to cross over to work with the president. first up susan collins of
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maine. during the president's first term, she broke with her party more than any other republican. she's up for re-election in a largely blue state. in 2014, she's got an incentive to work across the aisle. next lisa murkowski of alaska. she broke with her republicans on several big votes like the dream act don't ask don't tell the ryan budget. she's also spoken about the party's need to stop alienating female voters. nice work. and then we have dean heller of nevada. new. he voted against the ryan budget. he's, of course, from the same state as harry reid. so you can count on the majority leader to keep the pressure on him. and then mark kirk of illinois who took the president's old senate seat. he's a moderate who voted to repeal don't ask don't tell but on the other hand he also voted for the ryan budget. finally, lindsey graham, collaborated with democrats on issues like immigration and
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climate change but is up for re-election in the very red state of south carolina in 2014. he will probably feel pressure from the right to stand firm. joining me now is sahilkapuh. he wrote the article about the five republican senators who might work across the aisle. he joins us from washington d.c. i'm also joined by our favorite democratic strategist, donnie fowler. thanks donnie, thanks, is sahil for joining me inside "the war room." can harry reid bring those republican senators over to avoid a filibuster if not all of them? maybe some of them and which of the republicans is most likely to come over? >> it really depends on which issue. i think the bigger the issue the more hot button it is. if you take something like taxes or climate change or immigration, issues like that will be an uphill climb to win
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over any republicans. as i mention the article the most likely republican to cross over, susan collins has a very strong incentive whose re-election prospects in 2014 will be helped by crossing the aisle. the others are mostly either republicans from relatively democratic site of states or republicans who don't have to watch the right flanks that strongly. >> jennifer: donnie, you're from south carolina. you know lindsey graham, he would be able to be persuaded. >> it was much more likely before the tea party two years ago. like you said, he's got a primary in south carolina. that's a deep, deep, dark -- >> jennifer: do you think he will be in the primary? >> probably. the republican right doesn't trust john mccain the moderate because they think he's a crazy liberal. lindsey graham is closely allied with john mccain and so a lot of the right wing sees them as birds of the same feather. they call them republican in
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name only,rinos. the pressure is pretty strong. against it. >> jennifer: are there others that you're aware of, maybe that sahil wasn't thinking about. >> lamar alexander, senator from tennessee left the republican leadership a year, year and a half ago because he said he wanted more freedom to do what is right. you've got another senator from tennessee, bob corker who is often talked about on issues of cli carbohydrate change. -- of climate change. >> jennifer: he's good on electric vehicles. he was instrumental of getting it to come to tennessee. the day after the election, majority leader harry reid said he was going to seek filibuster reform. let's take a listen. >> i think that the rules have been abused and that we're going to work to change -- do away
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with the filibuster, but we're going to make the senate a more meaningful place. make it so that we can get things done. >> jennifer: what kind of filibuster reform would eliminate the abuse we've seen from republicans recently but still protect legislative minorities? >> i think the only way to do this that has any shot of working is to set in motion a filibuster reform which says in five years the threshold comes down from 60 to 57 then down to 55. maybe it stops there. the idea is that the minority party always has an appreciation for the filibuster. understandably so because they're in the minority. given the fact that the two parties switch off with that but neither wants to take the gamble and say we're going to reform it because one party always has a way to block it. the other thing to remember i think here is harry reid's been talking about a filibuster reform since 2010.
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i think since you know, the second year of president obama's presidency when it became clear republicans were using it as a routine measure. something no minority leader has ever done. >> jennifer: there is no way people are going to want to wait for five years to see the number come down to 57 or 55. the president really only has a couple of years before everything falls apart again because they'll be going into election mode. >> the other thing that the senate could do is to actually limit -- the senate could limit the amount of time a filibuster can last. right now, a filibuster can go on indefinitely. so there's talk, including some very senior people from harry reid's world about maybe not just cutting the number of votes required from 60 to something lower but to limiting -- putting a limit on the amount of time a filibuster can last. >> jennifer: donnie, we've got now the president claiming this big electoral vote mandate and
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frankly a popular vote mandate as well. don't you think that the president can legitimately say that he has a mandate on tax policy. >> the president will say that he has a mandate. he probably has momentum more than he has a mandate. especially in the first few months, a lot of leverage. republicans are back on their heels. real opportunity for the president to show some leadership and to get a jump with the american people, not just a jump inside the washington bureaucracy. >> jennifer: david brooks said that an aggressive posture by the president would be inner loop irresponsible and terrible politics. do you agree? >> i don't know that's true. president has two choice. one is to fold on the central promise he campaigned on for the entire election which is that the wealthy need to contribute to deficit reduction or to fight for it. the whole notion of the last
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year was that congress got very little done. nothing of major -- nothing of major importance since the payroll tax deal last january or february. idea was we're going to have a major election and let the voters decided. the voters decided. they expanded democrat's majority in the senate. even though the house democrats didn't win back the republicans they -- republicans had a lot of redistricting advantages. they clearly spoke out on what they prefer regarding tax policy. they believe the wealthy should contribute to the deficit. >> jennifer: i'm getting the signal. so sorry. such a great conversation. we'll reprieve it. it is an important issue. donnie fowler, sahil, thank you. we'll kick off our four-part series on hunger. it needs to be said again. we're in the richest nation in the world yet millions of our
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citizens go hungry every day. who are we as a nation? do we find that acceptable? i don't think so. we're going to be right back. i think the mob learned from wall st., not vice versa.
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it's just common sense from td ameritrade. >> jennifer: you're back inside "the war room." i'm jennifer granholm. one of the most important issues facing this country is one that you may not hear about a lot which is childhood hunger. according to a study from the u.s. department of agriculture one in five american children
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struggle with being hungry and sadly, there was very little mention of this by either side during the election. our next guest wants to change that. and there are solutions. billy shore is the founder of share our strength which is a group dedicated to ending childhood hunger. welcome inside "the war room." >> thanks. >> jennifer: first of all let's go to the scope of the problem. tell me about the scope. >> with 46 million americans living below the poverty line for the first time in history and 46 million americans on the food stamp program half being kids probably a bigger problem in terms of hunger and nutrition than we've faced in this country. we're in unchartered tear toe -- territory. >> jennifer: let's talk about it. what no hungry child -- >> no kid hungry. >> jennifer: sorry. no kid hungry is doing is an outreach program to the states to make sure that governors and then down to the cities and the school districts take advantage of what's already there.
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right? >> federally-funded program. don't require new federal funds but a good example is in almost every state parallels this ratio. 21 million kids in country are at such low income they get a free or reduced price lunch. they're all eligible for breakfast. only nine million get it. in the summertime, only three million get it. the biggest proponents of this are teachers who know that kids are not performing in their classes as they need to if they're hungry. >> jennifer: the whole effort is about breakfast with money that's already available. >> breakfast first then summer. other programs like wic and snap but breakfast and summer are so key. these are school kids when they're at their most vulnerable cognitive development, their growth. we've got the resources to reach these kids. >> jennifer: if this is already in place you're not asking the president to do anything. >> no but to champion this and to help us mobilize governors into -- to ensure that people
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are aware of that. these programs are funded by the federal government the department of agriculture tim vilsack, the secretary of agriculture has been a huge champion in it. there are things they can do in terms of providing waivers for states so it is easier to implement the programs. >> jennifer: how do you make it happen to get the child there early enough for breakfast? >> in los angeles, we did a press conference with mayor vig rosa in may of 2011 and we spent about six months in advance getting one school, figaro elementary to move breakfast from the cafeteria to the first ten minutes of first period. at first everyone objected. there were concerns it would take away from class time. we worked with a lot of organizations on the ground in california. we came up with a program where the kids go, they pull a red wagon to the classroom. they elect a sheriff and another
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compute sheriff. the compute sheriff picks up the trash. they found out and mayor villaraigosa announced they're rolling this into 1700 county l.a. schools. it adds to it because every kid is in every seat on time. >> jennifer: how can people at home help to get the word out? >> what families and parents can do is -- whether it is working through their school board or pta, make sure the schools are offering these programs. in the summertime, make sure it is through the boys and girl's club or the rotary sponsoring the sites. >> nokidhungry.org. >> jennifer: hear that parents out there, if your children are eligible for free and reduced lunches, they could get something else too. you can offer free and reduced
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breakfasts. the money is there. you just have to figure out the logistics. founder of share our strength. coming up next, more of our series feeding the need. the new face of hunger in america is one you're not used to seeing. we'll take a look a look at the problem after the break. dodge, new rules.
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>> jennifer: this is what hunger looks like across the united states. photojournalist barbara glover documented these american families and their stories for
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her exhibit "the new face of hunger." nonprofit organization mazon with jewish response to hunger commissioned her work. ity goal it is to make the invisible suffering be seen. it is a problem we as a country, cannot look away from and with us now in the latest installment of our series currently feeding the need is mazon's president and ceo abby liebman. it works to end hunger across all faiths. she's joining us from los angeles. thank you for joining us in "the war room" tonight. >> thank you for having me governor. >> jennifer: you bet. the project features people like 10-year-old john from canton, michigan. john says -- and i'm reading his words now. that it makes me feel sad that my parents sometimes feed us kids and not themselves. we get food in the clearance aisle and we don't buy whole price things. the food stamps we get aren't
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enough to feed four people for a month so i'm always excited to go to the food bank. what is mazon doing to help kids like john? >> well, the mission of mazon is really to not just address individual cases of hunger but the array of issues that affect all people who are struggling with food and security. and i think one of the things that's so powerful and so poignant about what john has to say is that at the conclusion of his interview he said that at some point things will turn around for them and when they do, what he wants to do is really help hungry people. he wants to reach out and make things better for others and that kind of compassion and that kind of commitment is so moving. in someone not only so young but so vulnerable right now. our work, our mission is to create circumstances and change so that when he is grown and when he is free of this problem
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he actually won't have to worry about anymore hungry people. >> jennifer: that's the hope, right? there are lots of stories that have been documented here. the recession cost emory from mississippi, his job. renovating homes. his family doesn't qualify for food stamps. emory says choices have to be made. we've changed how we feed ourselves. i like fish a lot. but now we can't even afford it. last night for dinner i ate some crackers and cheese. there are many times instead of making myself a salad i'll have ramon noodles. how important is it to get healthy food into the anti-hunger programs? >> we think it is an enormous priority. that there is a terrible relationship between what's called food insecurity in the united states, those people who struggle to find their next meal and people who are obese because the food that they get is calorie rich but nutrient poor.
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so it fills them up but it makes them overweight because it doesn't have the kind of nutrition that many of us take for granted. they aren't balanced meals. there isn't access to fresh produce. there aren't high-value proteins. what we're talking about is trying to shift that system to a place where it is providing those who must rely on the emergency food system with food that is nutritionally sound for them so that they're healthier stronger, better able to improve their own circumstances. >> jennifer: it makes perfect sen, abby. why is it food banks don't make nutrition a priority? >> i think many would like to. we're working with a number of food banks across the country to help them develop nutrition policies that can guide how they stock food and distribute it but most of the things they're relying on donations of a large scale amount of commodities. those are not necessarily the
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products that are going to be the healthiest foods. they're often left in the dilemma of they need to get food to people, any food may be better than no food but they, too -- find ways to make it possible for them to balance that with more nutritious choices. >> jennifer: i have another story that you have documented which is surprising because even public officials are going hungry. johnny is the mayor of glendora, mississippi. he gets into salary. he lives on the verge of poverty. he said food staffs don't solve all of your problems. you eat less because you have to barter your food stamps to pay your water bill. balls -- because without water how can you prepare your food? >> jennifer: did you expect a mayor to turn up amongst the hungry? >> i have to say we were surprised by johnny. he's somebody who clearly has a
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commitment to his community which is why he's the mayor. he sees its problems firsthand because he's experiencing them. and it is an impoverished community. he is doing his best to try to shape policy. which we all think is vital if we're going to turn this problem around. and he has the experience that makes him the most compelling of policymakers. >> jennifer: it's interesting because he's one of the unexpected faces you might see. abby, thank you for joining us on this important issue. we'll be right back. >> thank you.
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[ voice of dennis ] ...safe driving bonus check? every six months without an accident, allstate sends a check. ok. [ voice of dennis ] silence. are you in good hands?
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so shh brett's talking now. >> need a distraction from this david petraeus sex scandal distraction? that's what the internet's for. it's time for the internet report. stranger danger. after 2,000 years of the same old nativity scene an italian manufacturer has a special way to rearrange your manger. >> this year they contain a surprise. a miniature of newly elected president barack obama nestled among the sheep and baby jesus. >> that's right. the president at the birth of jesus making sure mary signed up for the right post-natal plan. >> shopkeepers joked saying big discounting would be available on figurines of mitt romney. >> rumor has it he he's 47% off. >> let's look at hillary clinton looming over a diorama with a
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baby. it is a tiny baby. almost twice the size of president lincoln. i don't know what to make of that but she's got my vote. and finally if you think of the internet as a labyrinth we have to rely on vladimir putin to be potent. when rumors arose he may have a bad back the kremlin immediately denied them. so did the internet. they released these x-rays and this statement with photographs. you think this guy has a bad back no. this guy has a bad back. that's all of the news that's not quite fit enough to print but definitely fit enough to upload. it is the internet report and i'm done talking now. >> jennifer: all right brett. thank you for the internet report. and thank you all for joining us
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